The long-term goal

by Jasmine Carlson on September 22, 2009

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I was browsing my birth board on a site where I have visited since I found out I was pregnant back in the summer of ’07. One of the titles caught my eye, it read something like this “AP parents are you sorry that you did it? I AM!” the rest of the post read more or less the same. The writer was sorry that she had ever practiced APing. She states that she has a “monster” on her hands (at just 15 months old) and that it is the fault of APing, the fault of breastfeeding, baby wearing, non-CIO, and responding quickly to her child. She stated that “they” (other people, friends, doctor etc.) had said this was the “best” way to do things and now it was backfiring, and she is angry.

I read the post and the responses with amusement. Not at her expense. I am sorry that she is finding it difficult to parent a 15 month old. I also find it challenging. My little guy is changing a lot right now, he is much busier, he has dropped to taking 1 nap a day, he is figuring out how to verbalize, he screams more, it is harder to put him down for sleep, he is developing a taste for certain food items and disliking others, he has learned to hit, etc. Along with these developmental milestones comes a whole new set of parenting challenges.

I was wondering while I read the frustrated post how you could possibly know if APing had “worked” when you have a 15 month old? This is a long-term commitment. We have just begun the adventure of raising our children to be whole, attached, compassionate people, we are nowhere near our goal! APing is a lifetime commitment. I don’t think that it has an end. In my life, in my relationship with my parents it continues to a degree even to this day. I do have fairly unique circumstances in that my parents are the founders of the co-housing-intentional-community that my little family is a part of. I see them practice APing even now, it is not just for parenting but a way of life, a way to treat people, a way to communicate as a family.

Don’t get me wrong here and think that I am saying that it is easy! It isn’t! Learning how to discipline our young toddlers, how to teach them self-control, how to set limits, how to raise children that everyone enjoys spending time with. I have been around many children who were just left to their own devices as a form of APing, allowed to do whatever they wanted with no restraint. No one liked being around these children! I don’t want that for my child. These are difficult things to work through and take time, research, and sometimes frustration!

But through all this I must keep in mind that I am in this for the long-haul, this is not something that is going to happen over night, or in 15 months, or even for years! This is a way of life and I can either let it shape me or break me.

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Jasmine Carlson (49 Posts)

Jasmine is a community living mama with a passion for fierce writing and fitness. She her way on Team USA by fitness coaching. Shaping Her. (www.shapingher.com) Join the conversation at (www.facebook.com/ShapingHer)


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer September 22, 2009 at 1:02 pm

Thank you so much for this. I have been questioning our methods for a few weeks now (many challenges of having a new baby and a 2yo!) and needed to be reminded about the long haul of parenting.

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Kayris September 22, 2009 at 5:29 pm

I have a 5 year old and an almost 3 year old, and although I didn’t read the post, it sounds to me like she has a normal 15 month old on her hands, not a child that is the result of AP. I’m not sorry at all for our AP lifestyle, I think it has helped us get through those difficult ages intact.

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Leah Lenk September 23, 2009 at 4:22 pm

It sounds like the woman who wrote that post is frustrated by her 15-month-old’s NORMAL behaviors and is looking for someone or something to blame it on. Even if her still very young toddler were acting out more than most other 15-month-old’s, it is not AP that makes a child behave badly – you cannot spoil your child with love – but, it could be a number of other factors from lack of discipline to bad diet to sleep deprivation.

But, she should not have chosen AP because others told her to in the first place. She should have followed her instincts as a mother. That is what lead me to AP despite “advice” from friends and family to let him CIO, wean early, not hold him when he cried, etc. My 2-year-old is as challenging as many others of his age, but I have received compliments from everyone from family to strangers about how well-behaved he is and I attribute that mostly to AP.

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